Bernie Sanders is far from a fringe candidate, he now leads all rival Democratic presidential contenders by double digits in both Iowa and New Hampshire, according to polling analysis from YouGov. According to the poll, Sanders is ahead at 43-percent in Iowa and 52-percent in New Hampshire, for respective leads of 10 and 22 points over establishment favorite and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“I had a strong feeling since day one that the message, the ideas we were bringing forth, were going to resonate with the American people. I think these ideas are not talked about enough. I think people want to know why the middle class is disappearing, why almost all the income and wealth being generated today is going to the top one percent. They are really unhappy with a campaign finance system and Citizens United that allows billionaires to buy elections. People are worried about the high cost of college and if they are going to be able to send their kids to college. The issues I had no doubt would resonate, but I do have to say they are resonating a lot faster than I would have guessed.”
Sanders told USA Today the above when asked about his significant leads in New Hampshire and Iowa.
In future primaries, Sanders needs only half the lead he has in Iowa and New Hampshire to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Clinton. Plus, Sanders has already made history as the first democratic socialist in living memory to curry more support than a favored liberal candidate.
“People want to know why the middle class is dissapearing.”
Political pundits have long called Sanders unelectable, but some Democratic primary voters obviously disagree. If Sanders maintains similar numbers from here on, his chances for the presidency look as good — if not better — than any other candidate on the right or left.
“There are states in this country where we have a whole lot of support, and there are states where we have zero — zero — support, so we are addressing that now. States like Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, here in South Carolina,” Sanders said to USA Today when asked about the challenges his campaign faces.
Sanders certainly does have work to do in South Carolina. The South Carolina primary follows Iowa and New Hampshire, and Sanders currently polls at 23-percent compared to Clinton’s 46-percent. Yet, these numbers shouldn’t discourage his supporters; Sanders shot up from single digits to a double-digit lead in Iowa and New Hampshire in less than six months.
Sanders’ impressive lead comes at a time when the Democratic National Committee has severely reduced the amount of primary debates. In an effort to get his message out to more voters, Sanders’ campaign is putting pressure on both the DNC and Clinton to organize more debates.
Clinton responded last week to the calls for more debates by saying she’s “open” to adding more (if the DNC is up for it). Regardless if more debates are announced, Sanders already has a significant edge over Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.
[Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]